We are ready to invest around £6.5million in developing high-quality school facilities for children and young people
Cabinet members are being asked to approve the spending, which would add new school places where they are needed most and help pupils to fulfil their potential.
Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said:
“These proposed works will benefit a range of primary, middle and secondary schools, as well as increasing our support for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
This is an exciting opportunity to enhance the way we support our children and young people, giving them the best start in life and promoting better outcomes across the district.”
The proposals going to Cabinet on June 16 include:
- Transforming the former Thornhill Lees Library and Information Centre building into extra accommodation for Ravenshall Special School. This would meet the increased demand for post-16 SEND support and feature teaching areas, a sensory learning space and facilities to promote vital life skills for vulnerable learners.
- Moving and refurbishing modular buildings to provide more space at Brambles Primary Academy. The school needs extra facilities for its new intake of children later this year and the modular buildings would include classroom, dining and curriculum support spaces. There would also be investment in expanding the kitchen facilities and play areas. The council is hoping to provide Brambles Primary Academy with a new-build school by September 2021.
- Creating extra places at Scissett Middle School in order to meet increased demand in the area. The school already has enough classroom space, but improvements would be needed to its outdoor play and dining facilities.
- Expanding King James’s School by building a new teaching block on the site, along with a range of other indoor and outdoor facilities. The school will soon have higher pupil numbers due to the upcoming closure of the secondary provision at Almondbury Community School. The new building would be highly energy efficient and provide an excellent teaching and learning environment.
- Making adaptations to Almondbury Community School (ACS), which will cater only for primary-age children from September 2020. All pupils will be taught in one building and there is therefore a need to change the current facilities, such as toilets and teaching spaces, so that they are suitable.
- Investing in Netherhall Learning Campus High School to support it with catering for new pupils who have joined, or will soon be joining, as a result of the secondary closure at ACS. This would include remodelling the current accommodation, plus further work on dining facilities.
Cllr Pattison said:
“The proposals are a major investment in our local education system, supporting our schools for the benefit of Kirklees children and their families. We would like to thank local schools for working with us very closely in developing these plans.
Investment in local provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities is sorely needed and the proposal for post-16 provision is important in our overall ambition for excellent local SEND support.
The report to Cabinet includes a number of schemes relating to schools in South Huddersfield and, collectively, these provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity. They will ensure children and families have a choice of high-quality education and facilities in their local community.
When the decision was made to close the secondary phase at ACS, our absolute priority was to help children and young people fulfil their potential. We want all children to benefit from excellent standards of care and education, both now and in the future.
We said we would work with King James’s School to create additional places and we said we would invest in primary facilities at ACS. The proposals in this report deliver on those promises.
We said that no children leaving ACS would be left without an alternative pathway for continuing their education and we have continued to work with the strong family of schools in the area to offer places which matched parents’ preferences.
On top of the investment already made at Newsome High School, the proposals for King James’s School and Netherhall Learning Campus will enhance the facilities available for local pupils now and for generations to come.”
Full details can be found in the Cabinet report.